ChatGPT, the new artificial intelligence chatbot that Microsoft has invested in, is causing consternation on several fronts: it has already been tipped as an efficient malware writer, and in the latest news has not only passed an MBA exam but achieved a pretty good result.

Professor Christian Terwiesch, the Andrew M Heller Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has released a research paper, “Would Chat GPT3 Get a Wharton MBA? A Prediction Based on Its Performance in the Operations Management Course”, documenting how ChatGPT wrote – and passed the final exam of the Operations Management module of an MBA degree.

The bot did very well in basic operations management and process analysis questions, including those that are based on case studies Prof Terwiesch wrote. It did battle on more advance process analysis questions, but overall would have receive a B or B- grade for the exam.

“OpenAI’s Chat GPT3 has shown a remarkable ability to automate some of the skills of highly compensated knowledge workers in general and specifically the knowledge workers in the jobs held by MBA graduates including analysts, managers, and consultants,” he writes in the preamble to his research.

The bot did “an amazing job” at basic operations management and process analysis questions including those that are based on case studies. “Not only are the answers correct, but the explanations are excellent,” Prof Terwiesch writes.

The bot did make some pretty basic mistakes, and showed itself incapable of handling more advanced process analysis questions. But ChatGPT demonstrated that it is good at modifying its answers in response to human hints, says Prof Terwiesch.

“In other words, in the instances where it initially failed to match the problem with the right solution method, Chat GPT3 was able to correct itself after receiving an appropriate hint from a human expert. Considering this performance, Chat GPT3 would have received a B to B- grade on the exam.”

He goes on to say this has important implications for business school education, including the need for exam policies, curriculum design focusing on collaboration between human and AI, opportunities to simulate real world decision making processes, the need to teach creative problem solving, improved teaching productivity, and more.